Grenache (aka Garnacha) and Syrah (aka Shiraz) have been blended together for many centuries – a combination which has proved extremely successful. Both members of the blend (Grenache and Syrah) prefer warm climates, such as those found in southern France, in Spain, and in the warmer New World countries. The most prestigious wines in which these two varieties come together are those of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Wines made from this blend typically have aromas of stewed plums, black cherries, blueberries, black olives and even a hint of spiced dark chocolate.
In France the blend is widely used in the southern Rhone Valley, both for AOC wines and IGP wines (see French Wine Labels). Just across the Pyrenees, in northern Spain, the pair are used together in various regions, but most notably the prestigious reds of Priorat.
Of the New World wine regions, Australia has been the most successful proponent of this blend. The South Australian regions of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale produce huge volumes of Grenache and Shiraz at all quality levels; the wines range from entry level right up to some of the world's most expensive wines.
In the United States the blend is used in California and Washington by a group of producers who call themselves the Rhone Rangers. In South Africa a handful of Grenache – Syrah wines are produced in the country’s famous Stellenbosch region.
To this blend, Grenache contributes its classic bright, stewed-strawberry and raspberry flavors, juicy palate and high potential alcohol. Syrah, the 'darker' variety of the pair, provides structure and spice, with notes of blueberry, licorice and the occasional gamey note.
Food matches include:
Europe: Steak au poivre ; Catalan herbed roasted leg of lamb (palpís de corder)
Australasia/Oceania: Herb-crusted lamb rack
Africa/Middle East: pastries with ground meat (feteer bel asaag)